The automotive aftermarket’s economic output in Canada took a hit but the industry is on the rebound, according to the Automotive Industries Association of Canada’s 2022 Outlook Study.
The report released last week examined the state of the industry and where it’s projected to go.
Notably, the study found that after hitting a high of $39.7 billion in economic output in 2018 and 2019, everything from supply chain challenges to health restrictions knocked that number down to $35.4 billion in 2020.
But as restrictions have lifted and some supply chain relief takes place, 2021 came in at $37.8 billion. This was equivalent to 1.9 per cent of Canada’s GDP. The industry employed about 481,200, accounting for 2.9 per cent of employment in the country.
Elsewhere, vehicles in operation “increased at a healthy pace,” according to the study — there were 25.7 million vehicles on Canadian roads in 2021. About 59 per cent of VIOs are light trucks, up from about 56 per cent in 2019.
“With consumer preferences shifting away from passenger cars, the growth was entirely attributed to the light truck segment,” the study noted.
The number of kilometres those vehicles travelled returned to pre-pandemic levels in 2021 at 455.3 billion km — on par with 2019.
The study also looked at consumer behaviour — where they went to get vehicles serviced, why, delayed maintenance, and how often various components were replaced — and a look at the global aftermarket landscape, which includes comparisons to the U.S., U.K. and Australia. It also explores vehicle electrification in Canada and how global trends like producer costs and oil prices are affecting business here.